The AUF Regional Office in the Middle East has been engaged since 2017 in promoting student entrepreneurship in Lebanon through the DEEL Program (Développement de l’Entrepreneuriat Étudiant au Liban).
A training session on identifying a business idea took place at Berytech’s premises and was moderated by Joelle Atallah – Finance and Business Support Advisor at Berytech, and Mira Zeidan and Zeinab Hoteit from Smart ESA.
Student Entrepreneurs from 13 Lebanese Universities
For the second year in a row, AUF launched the national competition for student entrepreneurs, attended by 13 Lebanese universities: Graduate School of Business, ISSAE Cnam Lebanon, American University of Science and Technology, Antonine University, AZM University, University of Arts, Science and Technology in Lebanon, Islamic University of Lebanon, Jinan University, La Sagesse University, Lebanese University, Notre Dame University, Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, and Saint Joseph University.
120 students in 35 teams, from disciplines as diverse as Law, Management, Engineering, Physiotherapy, Nursing, and Arts, applied to the competition at their respective universities.
Joelle Atallah introduced them to what makes a great idea, where to start from when generating a business idea and the importance of identifying a problem, identifying their customer persona and putting together an elevator pitch.
The session was interactive, and students were given time to work on worksheets and present their work in front of others.
A team of mentors – composed of young entrepreneurs, supervised the students and shared their experience and know-how in business creation. The mentors included Steven Semaan – a student at USEK and winner of the 1stedition of the DEEL competition in 2018 and founder of Dekkene, as well as Zein Rachidi of Topotrade.com, Hanady Al Ahmadieh of BlocRecs, Paul Barakat of Augmental, and Wael Khattar of Anachron Tech, 4 startups of Smart ESA,
Next Step: Final Pitch
These students will then submit a summary of their project and each university will choose its finalist to participate in the grand finale scheduled on Saturday, May 4, 2019 at Beirut Digital District.
The 13 finalists will make a quick presentation of their project to a jury and 6 winners will have the opportunity to spend a month in France in a university incubator to develop their project.
Read about the final projects here.
About the Program
The DEEL program was designed by AUF to enable Lebanese students to develop their talents and creative genius and open up more opportunities for them. The program was developed with a large number of partners, including the Lebanese Ministry of Higher Education, the RDCL-World, Berytech and Smart ESA, as well as 15 universities.